How to design a garden (within a garden) for your annex
Thinking about an annex for your parents and want ideas on creating a private garden space for them, in your garden? Or are you just about to buy an annex to live in yourself and want tips on how you can easily construct a practical outdoor space that you can call your own?
Here are six steps to follow when planning a garden within a garden:
- Privacy - Clever use of evergreen hedging and shrubs will ensure privacy for the annex all year round and help blend it into its surroundings. When it comes to hedging and screening, Ceanothus 'Autumnal Blue' or Red Robin can be used with the more traditional hedging plants, such as laurel and privet, to provide splashes of colour. Trees can also be used for screening, as in the picture above, where small fruit trees have been used to break the garden up into zones. The trees offer privacy for the both the main house and the customers living in the annex but also let the light through and don’t block off the garden completely.
- Planting - Using architectural plants closer to the annex walls is a good idea to soften the lines of the building. For interest and structure choose a variety of plants of different heights and seasonal colour for your border and don’t forget to think about grasses that bring height and movement but still allow light into the garden. And try and think seasonally too, choosing plants that will bring colour and fragrance into your garden all year round.
- Paths - Cleverly positioned and planted paths also ensure privacy and interest for both parties without closing off the garden completely. Whichever plants you choose, its worth considering low maintenance ones which will either need the occasional snip or at most, once a year pruning. Using a path, and the correct planting, you can draw the eye to the bottom of the site encouraging people to explore the next ‘zone’ without entirely closing off the area and making the garden feel small. Scented plants and flowers at the front of the borders, either side of the path, will give off fantastic fragrance when brushed against.
- Practical surfaces - Gravel and decking are popular landscaping choices around annexes but increasingly people are turning to artificial grass too. Not only is the ‘turf’ practical – it’s flat and even and stops mud entering your annex – it is also low maintenance and means no one need worry about keeping it mown, watered and edged. Its natural colour also softens the exterior view for the annex owner and blends in well with the main garden.
- Go potty - If space is at a premium and low maintenance gardening is also a priority, don’t forget pots! Planted pots can bring colour, fragrance and herbs within reaching distance of the annex all year round. They also bring the garden ‘inside’ the annex while helping to blend the annex into the wider garden.
- And relax - Finally, don’t forget outdoor seating, preferably suitable for all-weathers, so that you have somewhere to sit and enjoy your garden view, and a table for alfresco dining and entertaining. A chiminea, or any kind of outdoor heater, for the colder months and a parasol for the summer ones will ensure you get the best from your garden and your annex all year round.
Norwegian Log granny annex prices start from £54,995 for a one-bedroom home.